Austin Is Overrated, Try Houston Instead, Says Most Insightful Travel Writer To Ever Grace The Web

Categories: Texas

austinkoozies.jpg
Working too hard these days for what used to come naturally.
We -- to be frank -- had absolutely no idea who David Landsel was...until we opened an e-mail to discover that he is the single most insightful, knowledgeable, trenchant and trustworthy travel writer to ever be on the web.

Why he has no multi-platform empire of his own -- why he's not the Martha Stewart of travel, say -- is one of life's unfathomable mysteries.

Landsel is, according to his credits, a "Contributing editor at Airfarewatchdog.com," a description we can only assume is the equivalent of God when it comes to watchdogging air fares.

We say this because Landsel, in the space of two paragraphs, has cogently and persuasively argued a theorem which has long been deemed unchallengeable by all right-thinking people.

To sum up the theorem in a sentence: Austin is overrated; visit Houston instead.

Sure, to many it's like saying something as obvious as "Godfathers I & II are great; III, not so much."

But there are still too many people out there who envision Austin as if it was the loose, laid-back utterly enjoyable Austin of the `70s, as opposed to the traffic-chokede over-developed, uptight suburb that it has largely become.

Writing for the Huffington Post , Landsel has set himself the task of listing "10 Terribly Overrated Destinations (And Where To Travel Instead)."

For example: Berlin is overrated; try Prague instead. Colorado is overrated, go to Utah instead.

And, in the Number One position, thus making it the most overrated city in the entire universe covered by the Huffington Post, is Austin. And, you guessed it, the advice is to try Houston instead.

#1 Austin Drum roll, please, for this legend in its own mind, a mildly entertaining university town and state capital with fever dreams of greatness, a city whose entire purpose for breathing is to not be like everything else around it. When you're trying to set yourself apart from a place as large and as bold as Texas, you have to work really, really hard. Which could explain why everyone walks around here looking so stressed. Sprawling Austin is one of those unfortunate places that seems really smashing on paper. And then one ruins things by going. You have now been advised.

We have to admit, in our own private list of why Austin is not as good as Houston to live in, "everyone walks around [Austin] looking so stressed" is not in the Top 500. When we visit there (and we do, because we do like it), we enjoy seeing self-important Type A executives bullying subordinates by shouting on a cell phone, because we can give thanks that however life may suck at any given moment, at least we are not that dude or dudette, exploding at every given moment.

So what does The Great Landsel have to say about Houston? Read on:

If your precious snowflake mind can tolerate a little diversity of thought, Houston -- our nation's fourth largest city, if you didn't know -- is currently the place to experience Texas at its most interesting. Sure, this is a city so ugly that sometimes you may be tempted to put a bag over its head, but Houston is also an impressively creative and very fun town, with good museums (the Menil Collection, the Contemporary Arts Museum), plenty of good food -- Austin's own golden boy, Tyson Cole, opened Uchi here recently -- good drink (start with Anvil & Hay Merchant), plenty of music and -- best of all -- fun-loving locals who are generally anything but uptight.

So, ummm, faint praise and then an endorsement of our "fun-loving locals" who aren't uptight.

We'll take it!!!

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49 comments
Muhammad Omar Ghaznavi
Muhammad Omar Ghaznavi

"everyone walks around [Austin] looking so stressed"......"Type A executives bullying subordinates by shouting on a cell phone"...... "traffic-chokede over-developed, uptight suburb that it has largely become."........Right....all of these places describe Austin....not Houston....

Dick E. Doo
Dick E. Doo

I am an Aggie, and can tell you Austin is much better than Houston. This city is full of fat people, who are angry at everything. Austin is full of young, happy people, with lots of outdoor activities. Houston sucks!

Napoleon Butic
Napoleon Butic

bahahah delusional thoughts from Fantasy Island!

roperez22
roperez22

Austin does a few things really well.  If you like those things, you'll like Austin.  Houston is much larger so it's much more diverse in all respects.  This Austin VS Houston debate is stupid.  Apples and Oranges. 

Na Li
Na Li

Houston has more diversity, Austin is it's own cluture

coogster
coogster

Oh yes, go to Anvil's and soak in all the yuppiedom you can, as if that's not uptight.

coogster
coogster

Oh yes, go to Anvil's and soak in all the yuppiedom you can, in that once-bohemian-turned-grotesquely- over-gentrified neighborhood known as Montrose. Like all Houston tabloids, HP has gone the way of the urbane rag. 

franktex
franktex

From this Houston to Austin transplant, I just love the fact that they are just under 2.5 hours apart!

Rick Canales
Rick Canales

This is a great city but how come we don't have a decent vape shop. They have them all over San Antonio and Austin. If I want any vape supplies I have to go a seedy head shop.

Dylan Webb
Dylan Webb

houston rocks... austin is fun to visit, but having lived in both places, i gotta say houston gets the vote... better restaurants, better nightlife, better parks (yeah- thats right, i said it), closer to the beach, too

Bill Anderson
Bill Anderson

Dear Houston, you are a fine cosmopolitan city with good food and great museums. Also, you are more than welcome to these tourists and travelers. Please let's not fight. Love, Austin

Victoria Renard
Victoria Renard

I posted this yesterday and everyone in Austin went ballistic. The Houston haters came out of the woodwork from all ends of my Facebook universe. The best thing is, anyone who knows how great Houston is already knows. Any bearded tattooed ironic dude is gonna scrape together what few dollars he has to attend a music festival in Austin, sleep on some other bearded tattooed ironic dudes couch, eat 85 cent tacos from Tamale House #3 and hit Fiesta nightly for sales on PBR and Houston will be safe from a potential invasion.

Douglas Andreano
Douglas Andreano

So! So! Much more to do here I love Austin to... but so much more to offer here...jobs,music,art...and we have other areas in Houston thriving!!

Mad Hart
Mad Hart

Lol my austin friends HATE this guy

Nick McLaughlin
Nick McLaughlin

Born and raised in Houston, and so happy to be in Austin. The only thing I miss are the museums, which is the only thing the article mentions.

HouTexLib
HouTexLib

LOVE this article! Spot on! Austin isn't the place it used to be - 70's, 80's, or --when I lived there-- the 90's. STOP trying so hard, Austin! You're like those weird kids in highschool that try so hard to be different, yet all end up looking alike. Too many Californians have moved in and taken over - it will never be the same! 

ATXbaby
ATXbaby

We completely agree!!  Austin is terrible.  Don't move here.  People are mean, the scenery is terrible.  It's boring...nothing to do.  Houston on the other hand is a paradise....mild climate, gorgeous greenspace everywhere, no traffic.  It's peaceful and tranquil.  In fact, you only need look at the crime statistics between the two cities to see how much more pleasant Houston (20,984 violent crimes last year) is than Austin (3,499 violent crimes last year).  Oh wait, that umm, well...never mind.  Crime is overrated.  Just carry a gun and you'll be fine.  


Like we said, Austin is a terrible place to live so don't bother.


Signed,

Austin Residents

swppm1
swppm1

I have lived in Dallas, Austin, and now Houston. Austin is still fun but the artice is spot on by saying it's no longer the 70's. After initially despising the fact I was moving to Houston, I now find myself enjoying the city more than Austin or Dallas.

mfrost41
mfrost41

I have lived in both and have family in both. This article is right on the nose! Austin can keep it's liberal politics. Otherwise feel free to join us in Houston!

Anse
Anse

Let us hope that Houstonians will be the grown-ups in this silly ongoing pissing contest. Austin is a great town. Houston is underrated. Let's leave it at that.

pigty
pigty

Criticize Austin and Austinites lose their shit...Like you've questioned their very existence.

Anse
Anse

@ATXbaby This sort of thing is said a lot, which I find hilarious. When I was living in Austin years ago, Austinites were beside themselves with grief because nobody would pay attention to them. Every interview with a musician in the Austin Chronicle would include this question: So what do you think of Austin? Every time some national publication would publish a Best Of list, Austinites would whine like screaming brats because they got ignored. The sad thing is that while we have a lot of people here who say they hate Austin, most Houstonians I know actually love the city, visit it often, and patiently roll their eyes when somebody goes into Houston-bashing mode. We enjoy our visits there and we try not to dwell on the fact that Austin is really just Branson, Missouri, for hipsters. 

Anse
Anse

@mfrost41 We don't have liberals in Houston? Our mayor is a gay Democrat for crying out loud.

ATXbaby
ATXbaby

@pigty hahahahahahahaha  Yep, lost my shit.  Completely apoplectic.   

Yet we are commenting on an article in the Houston Press...an article ABOUT another article written by a blogger from NY which reassures the 4th largest city in the nation that yes, it matters.  And it matters more than a city 1/3 Houston's size. 

Talk about an existential identity crisis. 

I think I can speak for a lot of folks in Austin in saying:  We like you.  You're a great city.  If you feel better by making another city less, that's cool. Visit soon...

ATXbaby
ATXbaby

@Anse I lived in Houston much longer than Austin (and have been in ATX for 12 years...Dallas for 8 years.) 

I think Houston is a great city...I miss Mama's Cafe on Westheimer and a late night cocktail at La Carafe.  But I don't miss the traffic or humidity.  (5:30pm on Beltway 8 or 620 near the Galleria would make a crisis hot line counselor go full metal jacket in about 10 minutes.)

I suspect the "screaming brats" you chastise weren't "Austinites" but transplants.  Meaning, if they need validation through their city being recognized, they would whine anywhere they lived and I hope it's a damn far distance from here. 

Austin isn't defined by what it was in the 70's any more than Houston is defined by what it was in the 80's.  Every city is defined by what it is today...and what it builds for tomorrow.  I'd say both cities are doing pretty well in both regards.

But I've got to say, don't you find it ironic that you are bashing people from Austin for not feeling recognized enough....in the comments of an article about Houston not feeling recognized enough?  Come on, it's a little funny.

Frankly, I think Austin IS getting over-developed.  There are too many cranes and high rises downtown.  The city doesn't have the infrastructure to support the growth rate we currently have.  Houston was better suited to it 3-4 decades ago and still suffered.

As a conservative father of young kids, I can tell you that the hype about Austin being so liberal is just that...hype.  (Can you spell M-O-N-T-R-O-S-E ?)  People slam Austin for being liberal because "dressing for dinner" means birkenstocks and a t-shirt.  Perhaps it's just good marketing...the "Keep Austin Weird" campaign actually worked...people believed it.  Trust me...some ripe parts of the Heights can stand up to Austin's 34th street any day.

In the end, both cities are in Texas.  And that makes them two of the best cities on the planet simply by virtue of the flag that flies above them.  God Bless Texas.

Now Dallas on the other hand...well, that's just a shiny metropolitan city in Southern Oklahoma.  ;-)

H_e_x
H_e_x

@ATXbaby @Anse It has to be the transplants. People from Texas or who have lived here for many years don't care about the little rivalry, only people who moved there and need validation. 

ATXbaby
ATXbaby

@mfrost41 Actually, those Austin liberals ARE West Coasters.  California has contributed more to Austin's population in the past 10 years than any other origination.

Anse
Anse

@mfrost41 @Craigley @Anse Socialists? lol...50% of all the venture capital dollars in America are invested in California (Texas, last I heard, gets about 5%) but you're gonna call them socialists. Whatever

mfrost41
mfrost41

@Craigley @Anse @mfrost41 



Austin liberals are a different breed. More like west coast socialists. And we certainly don't need more of em.

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